Monday, December 23, 2013

Teatro Real Madrid To Auction Opera Items For Fundraiser

"The ghosts of operas past have returned to haunt the elegant labyrinth that is the entrance hall, staircase and hallways of the Teatro Real in Madrid. There, close enough for anyone to touch, are the characters from the theater's 2003 production of Isaac Albéniz's Merlin, or those from the 1999 staging of Bizet's Carmen, or the 2005 version of Mozart's Don Giovanni, among many others. In total there are over 1,000 items, ranging from costumes, masks and wigs to furniture and stage props, made in the theater workshops and used in productions from 1997 onwards. And the best part is that anyone can take them home — for a price. All the items will be auctioned off on December 26 as part of an initiative called La Almoneda del Real (Auction at the Real). Similar sales have been held at other major European opera houses, such as Covent Garden in London and the Opéra Nationale de Paris. The items vary wildly in nature and price: there are objects with a starting price of 20 euros, while the most expensive piece is a scale model of a 1930 Packard LeBaron car that was built for Don Giovanni and will admit no lower bid than 7,800 euros. A model of a horse used in the same opera is going for 1,500 euros; the Excalibur sword from Merlin has a starting price of 150 euros; Morgana's dress starts at 1,500 euros; a mining wagon used in Macbeth begins at 180 euros; and a makeup kit used in Japanese Kabuki theater has an initial price tag of 40 euros....And some are for mythomaniacs, like the headdress we made for [Spanish soprano] María Bayo or the outfit we created for [mezzo-soprano] María José Montiel for the 150th anniversary of the theater. They were only used once. As a curiosity, even the old ushers' uniforms are being auctioned off after the theater's previous artistic director, Gérard Mortier, had them changed when he took up his position. These are going for 30 euros each." [Source]

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